Who doesn’t love these perfectly portioned bundles of protein?!? They’re cheap and healthy and there are about a million different ways to prepare them.
First, let’s talk about what makes these guys so great. The egg is made up, of course, of the yolk and the whites. 90% water, the egg white contains about 3.6g of protein and not much else! The yolk, on the other hand, is packed with healthy nutrients. In the past, egg yolks have been publicly humiliated due to their calorie and cholesterol content. Now that we know dietary cholesterol has MUCH less of an impact on our blood cholesterol than previously thought, we can better focus on all of the benefits this little yellow pillow provides. The yolk contains about 2.8g of protein, and provides the essential nutrient choline, folate, vitamin A and even vitamin D. Because vitamin D comes from such a limited number of sources, eggs can be a piece of the dietary puzzle many people need.
The egg and the yolk together provide a total of 70 calories, 6g protein, and 0 carbs. Whether eaten alone or used in a recipe, eggs provide a versatile component of cooking used in a wide variety of ways. Dishes like crab cakes, turkey burgers, meatballs, or vegetable fritters use eggs as a binder to hold ingredients together. In baking, eggs can provide structure or be used as a leavening agent. The rich yolks are often important in adding flavor and color to baked goods.
It’s easy to see the countless benefits eggs have to offer. Here are some fantastic ways to incorporate them into your diet:
Quiche – sauté veggies of choice and place in a pie pan. Pour in some whipped eggs (and cream if you like), season with basil, S & P and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Egg-rrito – scramble up 2 eggs with cheese and spinach. Roll up the egg mixture into a tortilla for an easy breakfast or lunch to go. This one’s a Jones household staple!
Hardboiled – boil these babies using your preferred method (a lot of people swear by a certain hardboiled egg recipe…I say whatever as long as it gets the job done!). Slice them up and toss them in a salad for a protein packed lunch. Or eat them as part of a snack-lunch along with some fruit slices and raw veggies with dip.
Fried Over Lentils – Cook up some lentils according to their package, adding a can of tomatoes half way through. Cook the lentils the rest of the way, and add parsley, S & P, and serve with a fried egg on top. Taste greats and looks a little fancy.
Quinoa Egg Bowl – Cook some quinoa according to the package, crack open a can of chick peas, and poach an egg. Grab a large bowl and put down a bed of arugula and sliced carrots. Add 3 generous spoonfuls of quinoa, shake in some chickpeas, and put your poached egg on top. Enjoy!
Nutrition Technique: Eggs can ~and should~ be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner! After all, it’s hard to deny their versatility and health benefits. Break out your favorite egg recipe and get crackin!
Amy Jones, MS, RDN, LD